top of page
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute
Asian Institute of Research, Journal Publication, Journal Academics, Education Journal, Asian Institute

Law and Humanities
Quarterly Reviews

ISSN 2827-9735

Judge Gavel
 Scales of Justice
City Crowds
People in Library
open access

Published: 28 June 2023

‘Living on the Edge’: Examining the Socio-economic Issues of India’s Transsexuals

Surbhi, Khaikholen Haokip

Central University of Gujarat, India

asia institute of research, journal of education, education journal, education quarterly reviews, education publication, education call for papers
pdf download

Download Full-Text Pdf



Pages: 132-142

Keywords: Discrimination, Gender, Identity, Transsexuals, Transgenders, Socio-Economic


Transsexuals, the subset of transgenders, constitute one of the most discriminated and marginalised communities in India. Given the deeply entrenched heteronormative values in Indian society, which essentializes binary beliefs about sex and gender, any transgressions of these values and beliefs invariably evoke societal backlash. This study examines how heteronormativity, which fuels transphobia, impinges upon the lives of the transsexuals – both male-to-female (MtF) and female-to-male (FtM) transsexuals. Through narrative inquiry, the study sheds light on how transsexuals, despite the burgeoning legal provisions for protection of their rights and entitlements, continue to endure various social and economic infirmities. Ensuring equality for transsexuals, or for that matter the trans peoples, calls for, inter alia, confronting gender essentialism and mending the gap between law and implementation.


Akerlof, G. A., & Kranton, R. E. (2002). Identity and schooling: Some lessons for the economics of education, Journal of Economic Literature, 40 (4) :1167-1201.
APA (American Psychiatric Association), DSM-5 Task Force. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5™ (5th ed.). Washington: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Atienza-Macias, E. (2015). Some Legal Thoughts on Transsexuality in the Healthcare System After the New Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Society and Culture, 19:574–576.
Baset, Zaid Al. (2018). Supreme Court Judgment against Section 377: The Tasks Ahead, Economic & Political Weekly, 53 (39): 12-15.
Benjamin, H. (1966). The Transsexual Phenomenon. New York: Ace Publishing Company.
Bettcher, T.M. (2014). Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 39(2): 384-406.
Bhattacharya, S. and D. Ghosh. (2020). Studying physical and mental health status among hijra, kothi and transgender community in Kolkata, India, Social Science & Medicine, 265:1-11.
Carrilo, H. (2004). Sexual Migration, white-Cultural Sexual Encounters and Sexual Health, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 1(3): 58-70.
Cruz, T. M., (2014). Assessing access to care for transgender and gender nonconforming people: a consideration of diversity in combating discrimination. Social Science & Medicine,110 (2014): 65–73.
D’Augelli, A. R., Grossman, A. H., and Starks, M. T. (2006). Childhood gender atypicality, victimization, and PTSD among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, Journal of interpersonal violence, 21(11):1462-1482.
Enchautegui, M. E. (2016). Hit Hard but Bouncing Back: The Employment of Immigrants During the Great Recession and the Recovery. Washington: Urban Institute.
Factor, R. J., & Rothblum, E. D. (2008). A study of transgender adults and their non-transgender siblings on demographic characteristics, social support, and experiences of violence. Journal of LGBT Health Research, 3(3): 11-30.
Fallahtafti, E., M. Nasehi, R. Rasuli, D.D. Farhud, T. Pourebrahim, & H. Zareeeimahmoodabadi. (2019). Happiness and mental health in pre-operative and post-operative transsexual people, Iranian Journal of Public Health, 48(12): 2277-2284.
Flores, A. R. (2021). Social acceptance of LGBTI people in 175 countries and locations (1981-2020), (Accessed 21 November 2022).
GoI (Government of India). (2022). Treatment and Care of Transgender Persons in Prisons. New Delhi: Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI.
Gooren, Louis J., Erik J. Giltay, & Mathijs C. Bunck. (2008). Long-Term Treatment of Transsexuals with Cross-Sex Hormones: Extensive Personal Experience, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 93(1):19-25.
Gupta, A. (2006). Section 377 and the dignity of Indian homosexuals, Economic & Political Weekly, 46 (18):4815-4823.
HRLN (Human Rights Law Network). (2015). Issues faced by transgender persons in Odisha: Fact-finding mission to Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. New Delhi: HRLN.
ILO (International Labour Organisation). (2014). Transitioning from the informal to the formal economy. ILO: Geneva.
Jain, Shruti. (2020). Pride Month 2020: Evaluating the Transgender Persons Act. 2019, (Accessed 21 January 2023).
Jos, Justin. (2017). Limiting Gender Variance Critical Reflections on the Transgender Persons, Economic & Political Weekly, 52 (4): 21-23.
Jose, Justin P., & C.V. Vinod. (2014). Sexual identity and Psychosocial Disabilities of Transgender Women in India: A Social Exclusion Perspective, Voice of Dalit, 7(1): 95-104.
Kailey, Matt. (2005). Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience. Boston: Beacon Press.
Klein, A., & S.A. Golub. (2016). Family rejection as a predictor of suicide attempts and substance misuse among transgender and gender nonconforming adults. LGBT Health, 3(3): 193-199.
Lenning, Emily & Carrie L. Buist. (2013). Social psychological and economic challenges faced by transgender individuals and their significant others: gaining insight through personal narratives, Culture, Health & Sexuality, 15 (January-February):44-57.
Lick, D. J., L. E. Durso & K. L. Johnson. (2013). Minority stress and physical health among sexual minorities, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(5): 521-548.
Lips, H. M. (2020). Sex and Gender: An Introduction. Illinois: Waveland Press.
Meads, C. (2020). Health and Well-being Among Sexual Minority People. In: K. F. Zimmermann (ed.). pp. 1-17. Handbook of labor, human resources and population economics. New York: Springer.
Oude Breuil, B. (2014). Fluid security? Home, care and belonging in prostitution migration. In: M Schuilenburg, R Van Steden, B Oude Breuil (eds.), Positive Criminology: Reflections on Care, Belonging and Security. pp. 129–144. The Hague: Eleven International Publishing.
Patterson, C. J. (2000). Family relationships of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62(4):1052-1069.
Pearson, J., and Wilkinson, L. (2017. Same-sex sexuality and educational attainment: The pathway to college, Journal of Homosexuality, 64(4): 538-576.
Porter, M., & N. Haslam. (2005). Predisplacement and post-displacement factors associated with mental health of refugees and internally displaced persons: a meta-analysis, Jama, 294 (5): 602-612.
Rankin, S., G. N. Weber, W. J. Blumenfeld & S. Frazer. (2010). 2010 state of higher education for lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender people. Charlotte: Campus Pride.
Reisner, S. L., A. Radix and M.B. Deutsch. (2016). Integrated and gender-affirming transgender clinical care and research, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 72: 235-242.
Riggs, D. W., N. Taylor, T. Signal, H. Fraser and C. Donovan. (2018). People of diverse genders and/or sexualities and their animal companions: Experiences of family violence in a binational sample, Journal of Family Issues, 39(18): 4226-4247.
Ryan C., S.T. Russell, D. Huebner, R. Diaz, J. Sanchez. (2010). Family acceptance in adolescents and the health of LGBT young adults, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23 (4): 205-213.
Sawant, N.S. (2017). Transgender: Status in India, Annals of Indian Psychiatry, 1: 59-61.
Sethi, S., & M. Barwa. (2018). Transgender health and their rights in India. International Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 10 (1): 279–288.
Sevelius, J. M. (2013). Gender affirmation: A framework for conceptualizing risk behavior among transgender women of color, Sex roles, 68(11-12): 675-689.
Singh, Ajaymeet and C. P. Parkash Singh. (2019). Human rights of transgenders in India: a critical appraisal with reference to the transgender persons (protection of rights) bill, 2019, Our Heritage, 67 (2): 452-457.
Srikummoon, P., Y. Thanutan, N. Manojai, S. Prasitwattanaseree, N. Boonyapisomparn, U. Kummaraka & P. Traisathit. (2022). Discrimination against and Associated Stigma Experienced by Transgender Women with Intersectional Identities in Thailand, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (24):16-32.
Sutter, Paul De. (2001). Gender Reassignment and Assisted Reproduction, Human Reproduction, 16 (4): 612-614.
Tharinger, D., & G. Wells. (2000). An attachment perspective on the developmental challenges of gay and lesbian adolescents: The need for continuity of caregiving from family and schools, School Psychology Review, 29 (2): 58–172.
Toro-Alfonso, J., M.L. Ortiz, & K. N. Lugo. (2012). Sexual migrants: Emigration of Dominican gay men, Caribbean Studies, 40: 59–80.
UNDP (United Nations Development Programmes). (2010). Hijras/Transgender Women in India: HIV, Human Rights and Social Exclusion. New Delhi: UNDP.
White Hughto, J.M., Reisner, S.L., Pachankis, J.E., (2015). Transgender stigma and health: a critical review of stigma determinants, mechanisms, and interventions, Social Science and Medicine, 147 (December): 222–231.

bottom of page